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The Dark Elf Trilogy: Collector's Edition (Homeland / Exile / Sojourn) Paperback – February 1, 2000
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For one thing, there is much lore and world-building going on in this series, especially the first one, Homeland. Lore and world building is something that is absolutely essential to ALL fantasy novels, and this series has plenty of it. Sadly, RA's Salvatore's other works had much less lore and immersion, making them somewhat lackluster compared to this series. It would be difficult for me to believe that someone could not be enthralled by the race of the drow, their politics, and their culture. And neither does the trilogy have TOO much lore. There is a perfect balance and it makes this trilogy superior to other fantasy trilogies in that department.
The narrative flows smoothly and the pacing is excellent. You aren't bombarded with too much information too quickly, but neither does the plot move too slowly to be interesting. It also doesn't treat the reader like and idiot, and nothing that happens is irrelevant. Most of these imperfections that aren't present in the Dark Elf Trilogy ARE present in other Salvatore books, which really makes this one stand out above the rest.
Drizzt is somewhat like a Conan-esque character in this series, in that the story mostly focuses on one tough, central, and lone wolf type character, as opposed to featuring many characters and complex political machinations. I'm very grateful of this, as that is just a personal preference for me. That doesn't mean that the trilogy is cheesey or ham-fisted at all, though. I think that even fans who enjoy more complex stories with multiple main characters will find this trilogy exciting because the writing and characters are simply that great.
The action is very fluid and exciting, with great detail explaining the choreography of the bloody battles. It can make one's heart race and blood pound with trepidation. It really is an "edge of your seat" kind of action. I must admit that every now and then it can become a bit choppy and confusing, especially when characters use complex combat maneuvers. It doesn't disturb the pace too much however and can be ignored.
An annoying trend with fantasy novels is that the villains are featured as protagonists, which is boring because the reader knows exactly what the heroes will be encountering next. Thankfully, this is not the case with the Dark Elf Trilogy. The reader will be kept guessing at what will happen next, never quite sure of what is around the other corner. Much like the action, the plot is very much "edge of your seat" style. This is very refreshing and makes the trilogy much more entertaining than most other fantasy novels.
I give this book a perfect rating, no doubt. It is a cut above R.A.'s other works (which are themselves a cut above most other author's works.)
The writing is very good and clear, and unlike many modern fantasy books, things are not always obvious, drizzt is often confronted with hard decisions to make, and the ideas of the events are very good and they are alwasy coherent, never unrealistic.
It often gets deeper into the main character thinking and emotions, keeping of course a good balance with actions and fights.
And along with learning of his younger years, you also get a real treat: the world of the untamed Underdark and the creatures and races who call it home. Especially the beautiful yet deadly Drow and their society of controlled chaos.
I absolutely love this trilogy and in all honesty, you'd be hard pressed to read the rest of the series without it.
These books are at the same level as Tolkiens 'Lord of the Rings' series; the Dragonlance series featuring the 'Twins,' as well as Robert E. Howards 'Conan.'
In fact i read somewhere recently that because of the popularity of 'Drizzt,' they are considering making a television series. Lets hope rumors are true. Just one moe thing: R.A. Salvatores 'Icewindale' is an equally incredible read. I cant wait to finish them all. Enjoy.